Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Bride of Christ

Today is my anniversary. I have been married for 44 years. That is almost two life times lol. As I sit here I want you to know I love and respect my husband more than I ever have in our entire life. He is the one God meant for me to spend my whole life with. There are some other things I want to tell you.

It has not been easy. If it hadn't been for God's grace and our commitment to each other we would have ended our marriage many times. Just by Gods grace, when I would struggle he wouldn't and when he would struggle I wouldn't. God has used us in each others lives to teach us what true love really is. To make us more like Jesus and more dependent on Him. Yes through our struggles to love each other, selflessly. I think we are just getting the hang of it. 
The gospel in our lives, in our marriage.  I had to know Jesus as my husband of my soul in order to be a good wife to Danny.  I had to receive the love of Jesus for me unconditionally.  I had to know who I was in Christ and that defined me.  I had to know His acceptance and forgiveness.  I had to know His love, His sacrifice.  I had to remember I put Jesus on the cross but that He died for me because of the love of the Father, Son and Spirit.

The other day I had been gone all day. I came in and Danny was upset. I didn't know why and before I could get upset at him being upset lol. I thought...what is wrong? What is he feeling? I thought of Jesus love for me and Him dying for me on the cross, a sinner. That I am precious to Him and now I can love my husband. It came to me...is the reason you are so upset you were worried about me? He said worried? I couldn't get you all day...yes I was worried. Even though I had tried to get him also, I was sorry I had worried him. I thought how sweet for him to worry about me.

Grace is for the humble. When we humble ourselves before others they can see their own sin. If I had sinned against my husband he would have felt justified and there would have been a big fight instead of a good conversation.   

Marriage is suppose to be a picture of Christ and the church, us His bride. But sin has entered in and there are troubled marriages and divorce. This is a very hard, painful place for all concerned in the family. But Jesus says there is hope. There is new beginnings for those in marriages and those who are divorced. Marriage is suppose to be until death do us part but because of sin that is not how it always is. But God can and does restore and bring healing and forgiveness. He brings life out of dead relationships through the gospel. There is never anything done to us as great as what we did to Jesus in crucifying him. 

This does not mean we are to be in abusive relationships or be a doormat. If this is your case bring in help. Someone in your church, a counselor, another couple who has struggled but now have hope and newness in relationship. I am praying for you now. 

Eve was brought out of the side of Adam. She was to be his helpmate. We think we marry someone like us but the truth is we marry someone who is unlike us and together we are one. We cannot change another person but we can change. When we see the love of Christ for us. We love in new and abandoning ways. Being right is no longer the most important thing to us but understanding the other person and restoring the relationship. Those who are forgiven much love much. When you know how much you are forgiven you can forgive. Then confront your hurt or disappointment and work toward reconciliation.

I have not given you all the answers here by any means. This is just some things I have learned over the years. The most important thing is no matter where you are or what is going on I want to give you hope. God has allowed you to be in this place for a purpose. He promises to use it all for good.  Again if you are troubled, do not go it alone. There is wisdom in several counselors of wise christian people. When we seek to be Jesus to someone and love as He has loved us a whole new world is opened up to us. Our significance is not found in another person but in Him. Our identity is not in the approval of another person but in Jesus, so now we can be loving to them. These are complicated at times but something a good christian friend can help you work through.

So blessing my dear friends....no matter where you are or what you are going through you are not alone so don't go it alone. We all need each other in our lives. We are the body of Christ.